Introducing Myself – Laura Vonk

Cassie and I

I thought I’d start out the Featured Trail Rider Series by introducing myself to everyone.  I had a friend suggest I do a 25 Random Things About Me Post.  Since this is a website/E-Magazine about trailriding, I thought I’d do:

1. I’ve loved horses so long that I don’t remember being any other way.

2. I have a picture of me at about 8 months old and I’m holding a little toy horse.

3. I started collecting model horses when I was 4 years old.  I still have my first model horse.  Although I do own quite a few Breyers, my favorites are Marx, Johnny West Thunderbolt horses.  I continue to collect them, and also enjoy customizing and making tack for them.

An Original

The first custom I did.

4. I love to read and I credit my love of horses for that.  I have a large collection of horse books and have read every one of them.

5. The first horse I remember riding was a little black pony that was blind in one eye.  I don’t remember his name.  He was my uncle’s pony.  I was quite young though.  I clearly remember thinking when I saw him the first time that he was huge.  I saw the same pony later as a teenager (he lived to be quite old) and clearly remember thinking how tiny he was, and how funny it was that I remembered thinking how huge he was when I was little.

6. I got my first pony when I was about 10.  My Grandpa gave him to me.  His name was Star.

7. The first equine I bought was a pony when I was 18 years old.  His name was Shorty, but I renamed him Clover.  I thought he was being neglected so I bought him for $200.00, spent quite a bit more money on a vet bill and fattening him up, then sold him for $75.00.

8. I’m not the greatest business person.  See post above…

 9. I grew up in Kirkwood, and while all my friends brought home stray dogs and cats, I’m the only one I know who brought home a pony one day.  (See #7)  I had no idea what I was going to do with him.  My parents, luckily, didn’t have a heart attack and calmly helped me find a place to keep him.  We hid him in our shed in the back yard for two days while we looked.  When we found a place to board him, we didn’t have a trailer, so I walked him to his new home, while my Mom followed behind us slowly in the car.

10. I bought my first horse in 1988.  His name was Rockey.  He was more than I could really handle, so after being tuned up by my best friend Ken, I kept and rode him for a little while, but I still wasn’t ready and able to handle him, so I had to sell him.

11. The first horse I had that I really started to experience trail riding with, was a mare named Princess that my first husband gave to me.  That was about 1990.

12. My favorite horse, so far, was Majic.  He was my horse soul mate.  He died in 2007 of old age and complications from Heaves.

My favorite picture of Majic.  He always looked at me like this.

13. I credit my love for reading, my best friend Ken, and my horse Majic, for teaching me most of what I know about horses so far.  I continue however, to learn more every day.

14.  I was a trail guide at Valley Mount Ranch for two summers back when I was a teenager.

15. I’ve taken English riding lessons.

16.  The first “public trail” that I remember riding was at Forest 44 when it was part of Valley Mount Ranch and we took the people for trail rides in that area.

17. One of the most painful, but less serious, falls I’ve had was when I fell off a horse into a Wild Multiflora Rose Bush and rolled when I hit the ground.  We picked thorns out of me for quite a long time.

18. The most painful and serious fall I had was when I was riding my Brother’s horse Sam and he ran away with me.  He made a sharp turn to avoid a fence and I went off, landing on a rock.  I think I might have cracked my tailbone, but I got right back on him and continued the ride.  After seeing a doctor, it was found my back was so messed up, one leg measured shorter than the other.  I had to see a Chiropractor for 2 months to correct it.

19. My dream is to ride every trail in Missouri, just to be able to say I did, especially since I wrote Missouri Trailblazing.

20. Since losing Majic, or becoming older, (or a combination of the two), I’ve had to deal with Adult Onset Fear and Anxiety Attacks when riding.

21. I’ve owned well over 25 Horses in my life so far: Star, Clover, Rockey, Candy, Princess, Louie, Sam, Big Chief Wahoo, Desert Storm, Desert Queen, Foxy, Poseidon, Mystic, Zero, Shorty, Majic, Moonlight, Breezy, Morgan, Casper, Merlin, Big John, (3 different) Shadows, Cassie, Lucky, and Haffy.  There are a couple more, but I can’t remember their names.  This is why I keep a journal now.  I can’t believe I’m already forgetting their names.

22. So far I’ve ridden on 21 Missouri trails, including: Audubon, Babler, Berryman, Canaan,  Castlewood, Chubb, Cuivre River, Daniel Boone, Forest 44, Glade Top, Greensfelder, Kaintuck Hollow, Little Indian Creek, Long Ridge, Meramec, Paddy Creek, Sam A. Baker, St. Francois, St. Joe, Rockwoods Range, and Swan Creek.

23.  My favorite horse show/movie was Fury.  I watched it faithfully when I was a child, and still watch it often now.  Thanks to my best friend, I have the whole original series.

24.  I’ve always wanted to own a Morgan from one of the old cavalry lines.

25. I love Freestyle Dressage, and like to teach my horses a few Dressage moves that I know would be helpful on the trail.

If you have a blog, consider doing your own post of 25 Random Things About You.  If you do, comment here and add your link so I can go read yours.  It doesn’t even have to be about horses…  😉

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